1692, Jurgensburg, Livonia, the Baltics (present-day Latvia): Thiess, a man in his 80s, has been brought to trial. The old man, brought in on charges of compacting with the devil, freely confesses to being a werewolf. To the astonishment of the inquisitors, Thiess insists that he and his fellow werewolves fought against evil witches who stole the seed grain and took it to hell. Three times a year the werewolves proceeded across the sea where they fought the other side with iron rods. In fact, he’d had his nose broken once in one of these skirmishes by Skeistan, a peasant from Lemburg who fought on the devil’s side. The inquisitors could not understand the old Livonian werewolf and tried to entrap him in their narrative of the Satanic pact. In frustration and anger, he finally burst out that he was tired of hearing talk about his evil doings, he did a lot more good than the priests. The werewolves fought for a good harvest, and if they won their battle, the rye and barley, and even fish would be plentiful. Thiess told the judges “…werewolves cannot tolerate the devil.” Instead, they fought for the good of the people, a ritual harkening back onto very ancient Indo-European practices of spirit-worker fights for the harvest.